Shane and Shane are, first and foremost, worshippers, singing more for the Lord than for any other audience. Their solid and well deserved fan base of worshippers will receive this 5th CD with firm appreciation for these God-driven songs of passionate celebration. Those who require more bells and whistles might find it less exciting.
'Clean' Delivers a Full and Polished Sound
With so much worship music flooding the market, it says a lot for Inpop record label to release a second record within six months of their last. But Shane Bernard and Shane Everett have found a niche with their pitch-perfect blend of dueling acoustic guitars and impassioned vocals, and made it very much their own. Nobody does it better. This project is the first to come from their new Texas studio and was laid down one song at a time, producing a polished and full sound. Their signature indie spirit comes through gloriously and a few tunes have a bit of kick to them, which I tend to appreciate.
According to Shane Bernard, the title originates from the number of songs dealing with grace. Those songs describe "the fight of not feeling clean, the fight of what we feel like we look like to God, versus the truth of how He really sees us", he says. This message flows throughout the album and should resonate with and minister to most listeners. "Saved by Grace" joyously initiates the idea, an upbeat celebration with some nice percussive elements from drummer/producer Will Hunt.
'Clean' is All About Grace
Followed by "Fringes," an edgy tune that bounces through some noodling keyboards and interesting changes, the theme continues with the Job-inspired observation concerning the constant appearance of God in the details of life. Next is the cover of the Twila Paris classic, "He is Exalted," the first radio single off of the CD. I have mixed feelings about this song. On the one hand, it's a classic for good reason. It's a majestic piece of music, one which they apparently use routinely to close concerts, precisely because of its power to reach across generational lines, to unify. And they do it, like everything else, well. But conversely, there are too many covers in Christian music, to my mind. Unless you're bringing something significantly new to the song, why bother recording it? For a concert, yes, I get it, for the purposes mentioned earlier. For a CD, not so much. And that goes for the other two covers offered here, "There is None Like You" and "Your Grace is Sufficient."
Several Standout Originals
With that out of the way, I must make mention of several more standout originals: "Make Believe Jesus," a passionate rocker with a somewhat confusing central lyric, as well as "You and I" and "God Did," both edgy contributions filled with the usual sparkling guitars. The latter contains a wonderfully trippy bridge drawn from Roman 8:3. Also included are "Waging War" and "Acres of Hope," two tunes that present great truths in a manner that unfortunately tends to drag a bit. Again, I don't think this will stop any Shane and Shane fans, and these two songs are a small price to pay to enjoy the CD's other gems. Overall, there's a whole lot to like here if you're ready to worship.
Kevan Breitinger can be reached at Wordsmith4J@aol.com.
'Clean' - The Basics
- Style: acoustic worship
- 11 songs
- Released October 19, 2004 on Inpop Records
- Saved by Grace
- He Is Exalted
- Waging War
- Make Believe Jesus
- You & I
- God Did
- Acres of Hope
- There Is None Like You
- Your Grace Is Sufficient
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy